France vs Argentina (FIFA World Cup 2018: LIVE COMMENTARY)

This is the 49th match in the FIFA World Cup 2018 holding in Moscow, Russia.

This is the Round of 16 

Date & Time of Match:
Saturday, June 30
France vs Argentina on Saturday, June 30, 3pm.

___SCORE: France 4-3 Argentina___

LIVE COMMENTARY:

90′ + 5′ FULL-TIME: FRANCE 4-3 ARGENTINA
90′ + 5′ One final chance for Argentina as Aguero works the ball over to Meza on the left flank. He drills his effort into the box, but it’s deflected over the bar by Fazio.
90′ + 3′ Giroud is booked for squaring up to Otamendi before the referee brings it under control.

90′ + 3′ Assist Lionel Andrés Messi Cuccittini
90′ + 3′ Goal Sergio Leonel Agüero del Castillo
90′ + 2′ Argentina are running on empty now. They’ve nothing left to give this afternoon.
90′ There will be four minutes of added time.
89′ Di Maria breaks past Hernandez down the right flank then cuts back on to his left foot. He sends his cross low towards the near post, but Umtiti is there to clear behind.
89′ Mbappe is withdrawn for the final stages of the match to a standing ovation from the France fans. Thauvin replaces him up front.

87′ Di Maria has two attempts to cross into the box from the right flank. His first is headed back to him by Hernandez, and the second is over everyone in the box and out for a goal-kick.
86′ Aguero latches on to a throughball from Banega before firing at goal, but Varane gets across to make the block.
85′ Messi gets the better of Fekir and he surges forward by knocking the ball into space. He reaches his own pass forward and strikes at goal. However, Messi is off balance and sees his effort saved with ease by Lloris.
83′ Aguero wins the ball in the final third from Pavard, but before he can cross it back into the middle, France have numbers there to thwart the forward.
83′ Fekir comes on for France in the closing stages to replace Griezmann.
82′ Di Maria battles to get the better of Pavard on the left, only to scuff his cross behind for a goal-kick. It’s looking bleak for Argentina in the closing stages.

80′ Messi works his way past Kante on the edge of the box before picking out Meza on the right flank. However, Meza cannot pick out a cross as his effort is deflected into the arms of Lloris.
79′ Meza attempts to break past the challenge of Hernandez on the flank, but the defender holds firm with a solid tackle.
77′ Mascherano pulls back Pavard on the charge and concedes a free-kick. He’s fortunate to escape a second booking.
75′ Tolisso comes on to the pitch to provide an extra piece of security in the middle with fresh legs to replace Matuidi.

73′ Yellow card Benjamin Pavard
72′ Di Maria has space on the left flank and he tries to send a cross into the box. He gets the ball away, but then gets clattered late by Pavard, earning a free-kick.
72′ Yellow card Blaise Matuidi
70′ WIDE! Giroud goes for the kill as he latches on to Pogba’s pass in the left inside channel, but he cuts across his strike and it hits only the side-netting.
68′ Giroud collects an offload from Pogba before picking out a pinpoint pass to release Mbappe, who does the rest.
68′ GOALLLLLLLLL!!!!! MBAPPE AT THE DOUBLE!!!! FRANCE 4-2!!!! Mbappe provides the finish from a flowing France move, which puts his side on the brink of the last eight. Griezmann, Pogba and Giroud combined to release the forward into the right inside channel. He held his composure in the box to bury his effort beyond the reach of Armani into the bottom corner. A coming of age for Mbappe on the world stage.
68′ Otamendi has space in the final third and he looks for an ambitious pass to Pavon on the right flank. However, his effort sails out for a goal-kick.
66′ Messi drills his free-kick into the wall before seeing his effort on the follow-up cleared by France’s backline.
66′ Aguero comes on to the pitch with Argentina in need of a goal. Perez is the man to make way from the midfield.
66′ Messi surges upfield and wins a free-kick from a loose challenge from Kante. He will take the free-kick himself, although it’s out of shooting range.
64′ GOALLLLLLLLLLLL!!!! MBAPPE DRILLS HIS EFFORT HOME!!! FRANCE LEAD AGAIN 3-2!!!! Mbappe makes his mark at the World Cup with a crisp finish from close range. He twisted and turned in the box to find room for a strike in the left inside channel. He connected with his left-footed strike that snuck underneath the body of Armani and into the net. What a game we have on our hands here.
63′ Mercado battles Umtiti down the right flank and he is too rough with his attempt to win the ball, allowing France a free-kick to clear their lines.
62′ Both teams have come out firing in the second half. The game needed a spark and the Argentina goal seems to have brought both teams to life.
61′ Pavard is the first France defender to score a World Cup goal since Lilian Thuram in 1998 (twice v Croatia).
59′ Di Maria goes on the charge down the left flank once again. He feels contact from Varane on the byline and goes down, but the referee tells the winger to get to his feet.
57′ Hernandez raids down the left flank before crossing to the edge for Pavard to strike.
57′ GOALLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!! PAVARD SCORES A SUBLIME STRIKE!!!! 2-2!!!!! France are back on level terms as Pavard skim a half-volley into the top corner. Hernandez was played down the left flank by Matuidi. His cross failed to connect with a team-mate in the box. Pavard collected on the edge and struck his effort first time on the bounce. He made skimming contact which helped the trajectory of the ball drift inside the post and away from the hand of Armani into the top corner. Game on!
56′ CLOSE! A poor backpass from Fazio almost plays his side into trouble. The pass goes beyond Armani and Griezmann tries to make contact in the box. However, the Argentina keeper is able to guide the ball out for a goal-kick under pressure from the forward.

55′ Pavon goes on the surge down the right flank for Argentina, only to clip his attempted cross into the box over the bar.
53′ Kante wins a free-kick for Les Bleus down the left flank as he goes down under pressure from Perez. However, the free-kick comes to nothing for France.
53′ Mercado has scored his 4th goal for Argentina. In the previous three games that he has scored, he’s scored the winning goal of that match.
52′ France have paid the price for being too passive in the first half. Now they have to react to the situation to flood men into the final third.
50′ Banega slides in on Mbappe down the right flank and hands France a free-kick. Another Argentina player heads into the book.
48′ Messi collects in the right inside channel and turns to shoot. His effort deflects off Mercado to find the net.
48′ GOALLLLLLLLLLLL!!!! MERCADO DEFLECTS MESSI’S STRIKE HOME!!! ARGENTINA 2-1!!!! What a turnaround at the Kazan Arena. Argentina have the lead in the contest as France are unable to clear their lines from Banega’s cross. Messi collected at the back post and turned into space to fire at goal. His effort struck the legs of his team-mate Mercado in the six-yard box to wrong foot Lloris and the ball trickled into the net. What a moment in the game.
47′ Di Maria raids down the left flank to run at Pavard and he draws a foul on the edge of the box from the full-back. Banega will take the resulting free-kick.
46′ We’re back underway at the Kazan Arena.
46′ Rojo is withdrawn at the break for Fazio in the heart of the Argentina defence.
Both managers will be desperately trying to remedy their side’s issues at the break. Didier Deschamps has come under fire for Les Bleus’ performances and he could face criticism once again even if they are to advance as they’ve been far too passive. Argentina have dominated possession, but have lacked a consistent threat even with Lionel Messi. Should they find a rhythm they could well be advancing to the quarter-finals.
It’s all square at the break at the Kazan Arena. Antoine Griezmann’s strike from the penalty spot had put France in front in the this last-16 clash, but Angel di Maria’s rasping effort from distance has dragged Argentina back on level terms. The Albiceleste have dominated possession, but struggled for creativity in the final third until Di Maria’s effort. France looked dangerous on the break through Kylian Mbappe, who won the spot-kick. However, they’ve lacked the control in the middle of the park.

45′ + 2′ HALF-TIME: FRANCE 1-1 ARGENTINA
45′ + 1′ Di Maria’s goal for Argentina is the first goal France have conceded from outside of the box at the World Cup since 1986 against the USSR.
45′ There will be two minutes of added time.
44′ France have been far too passive since taking the lead. They’ve offered nothing but breaks on the counter. Deschamps needs his side to get a hold of possession.

43′ Mascherano slides in late on Kante and goes into the book for his challenge.
41′ Banega picks out Di Maria in the middle before the winger lets fly with his stunning effort.

 41′ WHAT A GOAL!!!!!! DI MARIA EQUALISES!!!!! 1-1!!! Argentina are back in the game courtesy of a stunner from Di Maria. The winger picks up the ball in the middle of the park and pulls the trigger on his left boot from 35 yards. His effort has the power and curl to arc away from the hand of Lloris into the top corner. A special strike from the PSG man to get his side back into the game.
41′ Assist Éver Maximiliano David Banega
41′ Argentina win a corner down the right flank, which Messi floats into the box. However, Pavard is there to clear the danger with a flicked header.
39′ Argentina make good headway down the right flank and this time Pavon gets to the byline before firing a low ball into the box. Pavard gets ahead of Di Maria in the middle and is able to clear the danger.

37′ Di Maria works the ball into the feet of Messi in the box. The forward takes a touch before going down in the area, although he does not appeal for a penalty.
35′ Kante takes a sore one from Mercado on the lunge before Giroud and Otamendi collide, leaving the Manchester City defender on the deck along with the France forward.
33′ Matuidi and Otamendi battle for the ball in the left corner, but the Argentina defender does well to get the better of the midfielder before winning a free-kick.
31′ Pogba raids into space through the middle of the Argentina midfield before offloading to Mbappe in the right inside channel. He opts against the early strike and tries to beat Tagliafico, but the defender makes the covering challenge.
30′ Messi picks the ball up deep and looks for the run of Pavon. He finds the winger, but Pavon takes a poor first touch and allows Umtiti to make the clearance.
28′ Mercado latches on to a pass from Pavon down the right flank. The full-back breaks into the box to place the ball across the face of goal. It strikes the arm of Umtiti in front of his chest and travels behind. Mercado wants a penalty, but he doesn’t even get a corner.

26′ Griezmann surges down the right flank and he beats the challenge of Rojo. The forward goes for the low drive across the face of goal, but he cannot generate the power on his effort, allowing Armani to make the stop.
25′ Mascherano works the ball into the path of Perez in the right inside channel, but the ball speeds away from the midfielder as Lloris gathers on the slide.
23′ Les Bleus are able to clear their lines at the back post from Banega’s delivery. Argentina have to get Messi into the game here.
22′ Banega collects in the France half and he has room to pull the trigger. His effort strikes the head of Umtiti and sails over the bar, winning a corner for Argentina.
21′ OVER! Pogba goes for the strike from the free-kick. He gets the power required, but he smashes his effort well over the bar. Argentina breathe again.
19′ Tagliafico is booked for his challenge on Mbappe as he carelesly charged into the forward.
19′ Mbappe’s speed causes huge issues against for Argentina as the forward latches on to Pogba’s sublime ball over the top. Tagliafico brings him down on the edge of the box, handing a free-kick to France. The Albiceleste are all over the place at the back.
19′ France are unbeaten in each of their last 18 World Cup games in which they’ve scored the first goal prior to today (W16 D2), last losing to Poland in 1982 (3-2).
18′ Di Maria takes the corner, but he fails to beat the first man with his cross. The Albiceleste need their key men to come alive.
17′ Di Maria attempts to guide a header into the run of Tagliafico in the final third. He gets it wrong, but his team-mate battles with Pavard to win a corner for Argentina.
15′ France have never lost a game in which Griezmann has scored in prior to today (W16 D2 L0).
14′ Mbappe displayed incredible speed in the final third to break away from the blue and white shirts to win the penalty. Griezmann was cool to score from the spot. France’s big players deliver to hand them the lead.
13′ GOALLLLLLLLL!!!!! GRIEZMANN CONVERTS!! FRANCE 1-0!! Les Bleus take the lead as the striker holds his nerve from the spot, calmly stroking his effort into the bottom corner. Armani went a fraction too early and was punished by the composure of Griezmann.
11′ Rojo goes into the book for his challenge on Mbappe.
11′ PENALTY TO FRANCE! Mbappe seizes on a loose ball in the middle of the park and he surges into the Argentina box before being pulled to the ground by Rojo. A senseless challenge from the defender, leaving the referee with no alternative to point to the spot.
10′ That was a warning for Argentina about conceding cheap free-kicks in the final third. Griezmann was so close there.
9′ OFF THE BAR! Griezmann comes within inches of firing his side into the lead. He curls his effort over the wall and has Armani beaten all ends up, only to be denied by the bar.
8′ Mbappe surges through the middle of the Argentina defence and Mascherano brings him down on the slide. France have a free-kick on the edge of the box, with Griezmann standing over the ball.
7′ Argentina look for the quick ball over the top for the run of Pavon down the right. Lloris senses the danger and comes out to gather on the left side of his box.
5′ Banega releases Di Maria in the final third, but the winger disappoints with his cross into the box, firing the ball out for a goal-kick.
4′ Messi turns with speed in the France half to get away from Matuidi, but he gets brought down as he pulls away from the midfielder. A scrappy start to the contest.
3′ Pogba clips the heels of Banega in the midfield and Argentina have their second free-kick of the game.
2′ Mascherano slides to win the ball in the middle of the park, sending it back towards Armani.
1′ Giroud fouls Tagliafico in the opening seconds of the game, handing Argentina a free-kick in their own half.
1′ We’re underway at the Kazan Arena.
The anthems are over. It’s time for the knockout stage of the World Cup to begin.
The players are out and it’s time for the anthems.
Argentina have gone past the first round for the 12th time in their last 13 World Cup appearances, the only exception coming in 2002. Their last four knockout games in the tournament have produced only three goals (two goals for, one against).
Penalty shoot-outs excluded, France have lost only one of their last 11 games in the knockout stages of the World Cup (W8 D2), that came against eventual winners Germany in July 2014 (0-1).
Sampaoli has made the decision to drop Higuain, leaving him without Aguero, Dybala and the Juventus forward in his starting line-up. Pavon gets the nod to start as part of a three-man attack alongside Messi and Di Maria in the only change to the starting line-up from the win over Nigeria.
France have brought they key men back into the fold this afternoon after resting the majority of their starters against Denmark. Lloris returns between the sticks, while Pavard and Umtiti come back into the back four. Pogba and Matuidi return to the midfield, while Mbappe replaces Dembele on the flank.
Argentina subs: Nahuel Guzman, Cristian Ansaldi, Lucas Biglia, Federico Fazio, Marcos Acuna, Gonzalo Higuain, Maximiliano Meza, Eduardo Salvio, Sergio Aguero, Giovani Lo Celso, Paulo Dybala, Willy Caballero.
ARGENTINA (4-3-3): Franco Armani; Gabriel Mercado, Nicolas Otamendi, Marcos Rojo, Nicolas Tagliafico; Ever Banega, Javier Mascherano, Enzo Perez; Cristian Pavon, Lionel Messi, Angel di Maria.
France subs: Presnel Kimpembe, Thomas Lemar, Ousmane Dembele, Corentin Tolisso, Steven N’Zonzi, Steve Mandanda, Adil Rami, Nabil Fekir, Djibril Sidibe, Florian Thauvin, Benjamin Mendy, Alphonse Areola.
FRANCE (4-2-3-1): Hugo Lloris; Benjamin Pavard, Samuel Umtiti, Raphael Varane, Lucas Hernandez; N’Golo Kante, Blaise Matuidi; Paul Pogba, Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappe; Olivier Giroud.
We’ll now take a look at the two teams this afternoon, starting with France.
France and Argentina will be facing each other for the 12th time. The South Americans hold the upper hand with six wins to two (D3), keeping a clean sheet in eight of their previous 11 encounters with the French.
Argentina had to defeat Nigeria in their last group game to make it through to the last 16. Despite Messi’s opener in the 14th minute, Victor Moses’ strike from the spot looked to have sent Jorge Sampaoli’s men out of the tournament. However, Marcos Rojo raided forward from the back to score the winner that secured their place in the knockout stage.
France were able to edge their way through the group stage without playing their best football. They defeated Australia and Peru by narrow margins before drawing their last contest against Denmark. Didier Deschamps and his team would have been hopeful that Argentina would not have made it through and now have the test of facing Lionel Messi, despite the Albiceleste’s issues at the World Cup.
Hello and welcome to this live text commentary of the World Cup last-16 match between France and Argentina in Russia.

GOAL

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